Health Triggers to Avoid

1 Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

What it triggers: Canker sores

SLS is a common cleaning agent in many toothpastes, but it can alter the bacterial coating in your mouth, which could irritate the tissue and lead to a sore.

Solution: Switch to an SLS-free paste.Also, cut back on acidic fruits, such as pineapple, which can also irritate your mouth.

2 Slushies and Sugarless Gum

What they trigger: Diarrhea

Slushies can be full of fructose. Sugarless gum is sweetened with sorbitol and mannitol, both of which your body can't absorb easily. Consuming too much of either can draw more water into your intestines, producing soft stools.

Solution: Have fewer sugary foods (or at least eat them more slowly).

3 Too Much Coffee

What it triggers: Stomachaches

Caffeine boosts acid production and can irritate your stomach, causing a stomachache.

Solution: Eat food with your joe to absorb acid. Or switch to decaf (or a dark roast).

4 Cheese and Hot Dogs

What they trigger: Headaches

Cheese contains an amino acid called tyramine. Hot dogs have nitrites. Both can cause changes in cranial bloodflow, causing throbbing as the vessels in your brain narrow and then dilate.

Solution: Avoid foods that are high in tyramine--nuts, smoked meats, sauerkraut, pickles, overripe fruit, wine, and beer. And eat hot dogs that aren't chemically preserved.

5 Narrow Shoes

What they trigger: Foot cramps

Muscles are designed for contracting and relaxing. When they're trapped in narrow footwear for too long, they cramp up.

Solution: If you can't wear shoes that are less tight, roll a tennis ball under each sole to boost circulation and loosen the muscles. Repeat daily.

6 Hot Showers

What they trigger: Dry skin

Hot water and conventional soaps slough off skin cells that trap moisture. They also wash away skin oils. The result: dry skin.

Solution: Take quick, lukewarm showers and use an emollien-trich cleanser. Then pat yourself dry, leaving a few droplets for your skin to absorb, and apply a moisturizing ointment.

7 After-Dinner Mints

What they trigger: Heartburn

After a large meal, pressure builds in your stomach. Mint is a muscle relaxant and may induce acid reflux by flipping open the sphincter between your stomach and esophagus.

Solution: Slim down your portions, eat slowly, and avoid heartburn aggravators: fried foods, chocolate, high-fat meals, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and acidic foods (citrus, tomatoes).

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